|English Name||Matsue Castle|
|Castle Condition||Original main keep|
|Designations||Top 100 Castles, has National Treasures, National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Main Keep Structure||5 levels, 6 floors|
|Features||main keep, gates, turrets, samurai homes, water moats, stone walls, walls, castle town|
|Access||Matsue Station (San'in line); Lakeline Bus 10 min.|
|Location||Matsue, Shimane Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 28' 31", 133° 2' 59"|
|Visits||November 19, 2010|
Horio Yoshiharu was awarded the lands around Izumo for his participation in the Battle of Sekigahara. After 3 generations of Horio rule and one of Kyogoku, the castle was passed to one of Tokugawa Ieyasu's grandson's Matsudaira Naomasa. The Matsudaira ruled for 234 years until the castle was dismantled during the Meiji Period. Fortunately, the main main keep you see above was saved.
Matsue was a great castle to visit and well exceeded my expectations. They are trying to get it registered as a National Treasure and I agree. The main keep is bigger than I expected and in great condition. It's a marvelous example of the borogata style main keep. The pictures don't do it justice but besides the main keep the grounds are quite extensive with many stone walls and moats. It is unfortunate that there aren't more buildings, but they are gathering information and funds to rebuild the Otemon Gate which would be an awesome addition to this already great site. Just outside the moat on the North side of the castle is the residence of Lafcadio Hearn and an old samurai home that are also worth visiting if you have time. I did not think the boat tour around the outer moat was worth the time. The low roof of the boat makes it hard to see much or take pictures.